Diet Plan for Diabetes Patients in 2021 | Complete Diet Chart For Diabetics

Your diabetic and you are feeling hungry frequently? What to eat and what to avoid without affecting blood sugar levels? Read the article below to get a good idea of the best food choices and the best diet plan for diabetes patients.

Chart of Best Diet Plan for Diabetes Patients

The food we eat is our necessity for life. But could you imagine food quantity and choice can impact your health especially when you are diabetic? Some food products like carbs increase blood sugar rapidly and can lead to other diabetic problems.

The main goal of a good diet plan for a diabetic patient is thus to maintain the best levels of carbs, proteins, fats, and other nutrients. The selection of food products in a diet plan is done in a manner to control the carbs, and include other balanced nutrients for managing blood sugar levels.

Summary:

Carbohydrates control is essential for managing blood sugar levels.

Control Your Carbs

he food we eat contains carbohydrates (carbs), fibers, fats, proteins, and other vitamins and minerals. The choice of food and its quantity can affect blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates (carbs) are naturally occurring sugar, fiber, and starch in food products. These substances when eaten are broken down by our body into glucose directly. Thus, carbs are directly converted to glucose and therefore increase blood sugar levels.

Keeping a track of your carbs or carbohydrate counting helps in managing diabetes by

  • Preventing complications (because of too much blood sugar)
  • Regulating the glucose content in your body
  • Giving an idea of insulin needed by a diabetes patient

Summary:

Some Carbohydrates (Carbs) increases blood sugar levels rapidly while some slowly. Thus, controlling carbs is necessary for diabetes.

Carb counting

For a diabetic patient, it is essential to control carbs in your diet. Always keep track of the carbs you eat. The best way is to set a limit on Carbs for each meal. Carb counting can help you here.

Packed food provides details of each nutrient in grams on the wrappers. One can also use online carb counting tools for calculating carbs present in the food or drinks.

People with diabetes should get half of their calories from carbs. For example, if your diet plan recommends 1600 calories a day, about 700 to 800 calories should come from carbs.

Considering 4 calories per gram, it shall be 200 gm. of carbs per day. For breakfast, one can have 60 gm. of crabs, for lunch 60 gm., for snacks 20 gm., for dinner 60 gm.

Summary:

Carb counting counts the carbs eaten in food. Thus, people with diabetes should eat half of their daily calories from carbs.

Also read: Define health and hygiene

What is a Glycemic Index?

This is another way of managing the carbs you eat. Glycemic Index (GI) ranks the food in accordance with the impact on blood sugar levels. The ranks are from 00 to 100.

High GI food increases blood sugar levels rapidly. These foods get digested quickly and you feel hungry. Example: Potatoes, Bread, fruit juices.

Low GI foods are known to have less impact on blood sugar levels. These foods take time to digest and thus you feel a full stomach for a longer time. These foods are good for diabetic patients. Example: brown rice, tomatoes, beans, yogurt, milk.

Summary:

Low GI foods are good for a diabetic person while high GI food increases blood sugar levels rapidly.

Key Points on Carbohydrates in the Diet

  1. Carbs with fiber like sweet potatoes do not increase blood sugar levels as fast as the carbs without fiber like soda.
  2. Eat plenty of fiber to manage blood glucose levels. It also decreases cholesterol levels and helps in reducing weight.
  3. Avoid or limit the usage of processed carbs, soda, or added sugar like cookies and candies. Due to these blood sugar levels increases in quick time.
  4. Complex carbohydrates take time to digest and absorb. Due to which these are good for controlling diabetes as they slowly increase blood glucose levels.

Also read: Diabetes 1 signs and symptoms

Which type of carbohydrates should be included in your diet?

Diet plan for diabetes patients
Food rich in carbohydrates, top view

Carbohydrates are classified into two types: 

  1. Complex carbohydrates (low glycemic index foods)
  2. Simple sugars (high glycemic index foods)

Complex carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates not only have a low glycemic index but they also contain additional useful nutrients like fiber, vitamins, etc. These nutrients decelerate the absorption of glucose and thereby, helps to maintain stability in blood sugar levels.

Examples of complex carbohydrates are:

  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal
  • Starchy vegetables (in moderation) like potatoes, corn, root vegetables
  • Non-starchy vegetables such as green vegetables.

Simple sugars: Avoid simple sugars as they have a high glycemic index and they don’t contain any other useful nutrients. These foods cause an uncontrollable rise in blood sugar levels and thus, are very harmful.

Examples of simple carbohydrates are white bread, soft drinks, flour, white pasta, cereals, etc.

Diabetic Diet Food List Plan Chart

Consumption of certain food items helps to control diabetes and lower the risk of serious diabetes complications like heart and eye diseases. Here are 5 healthy food items which might help in diabetes management:

Diabetic diet food list
  1. Leafy greens – Leafy green vegetable is a diabetic-friendly food that is low in calories and digestible carbs. It contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eyes from disease. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, etc are rich in vitamin C.
  2. Fatty fish – Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are considered as one of the healthiest foods. It contains omega-3 fats which lower the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and stroke.
  3. Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a diabetic-friendly dairy choice as it helps in weight management and enhances body composition in people with type 2 diabetes. It contains probiotics which promote blood sugar control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  4. Eggs – Egg is a highly nutritious food as it enhances the body’s sensitivity to insulin, lowers heart disease risk, and eye disease risk (contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin). It is a high-protein diet which helps to maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body.
  5. Chia seeds – Chia seeds are highly rich in fiber and low in digestible carbs. The viscous fiber in these seeds helps to control blood sugar by slowing down the rate of absorption of glucose. Chia seeds reduce hunger, blood pressure, and inflammation and thus, is really beneficial in diabetes.

Summary:

Green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, eggs, fatty fish, Greek Yoghurt, Cinnamon, Nuts, etc. are good carbs that help in controlling diabetes.

Also read: diabetes care tips

1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet Chart

A 1200 calorie diabetic diet means consuming no more than 1200 calories of food daily. This diet formula will help control your blood sugar as well as lose weight.

Here is a 1200 calorie diabetic diet chart. You can plan your meals accordingly to bring diabetes under control.

6:30 AM – 2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds soaked 1 glass of water

 8:30 AM – (Breakfast)1 bread, 1 glass buttermilk, and 1 apple

1:30 PM – 2 multigrain chapati, 1 cup mixed vegetable salad, 1 bowl dal, and 1 bowl vegetable

4:30 PM – 1 cup green tea without sugar 

7:30 PM – 1 bowl sprout salad

8:30 PM – 1 chapati and 1 bowl of vegetable

10:00 PM – ½ cup milk without sugar

Plate method 

The plate method is a visual method of planning a healthy meal in your diet. In this method, a diet plate includes non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins rich foods. By doing so the quantity of high-carb food that causes a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels is decreased.

Plate method Diet plan for diabetes patients

Take a dinner plate (9-inch)

  • Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and salad.
  • Fill one quarter with whole grains or starchy foods such as potatoes, cereals, rice.
  • Fill the remaining quarter with lean protein foods such as plain Greek yogurt, beans, low-fat milk.

You may also include fruits and low-fat dairy products in your meal plan as per calorie requirements.

Visualizing Food Portion Size

With no portion control, people eat more even though they are not hungry. Therefore, plan your meal using the following portion size guide to manage your diabetes in a better way. The hands are really helpful in estimating portion size

Vegetables – Take as much as you can hold in both hands.

Milk – Drink about 1 cup or 250 ml of low-fat milk.

Grains & starch – Choose a quantity up to the size of your fist.

Meat, fish, or poultry – Go for an amount equivalent to the size of your palm and thickness of a little finger.

Fruit – Consume a fruit of the size of your fist.  

Results of the Best Diabetes Diet Plan

To control diabetes, you need to acquire healthy eating habits, starting from carbohydrate counting to following the plate method. You need to stick to your diabetes diet plan to reach your health goals. 

Do consult your doctor and dietitian to prepare a meal plan that suits your health. Don’t stray from the prescribed diet formula if you wish to protect yourself from serious diabetes complications. 

Also read: Diabetes can be cured by bhujangasana

FAQ’s:

Is a high protein diet good for diabetic patients?

High protein diet slows the rise of blood sugar levels. But it cannot be recommended for all patients with diabetes. Because some patients having kidney disease, heart disease and obesity problems shall have more risk of further problems with a high protein diet. It is thus recommended to eat complex carbohydrates with some proteins and fats.

What should I avoid eating if I am diabetic?

Avoid eating Pasta, White bread, and rice as they tend to increase blood sugar levels rapidly. Moreover, avoid eating any processed foods and candies.

What vegetables and fruits are good to eat to control diabetes?

Vegetables: Eat more green leafy vegetables and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, greens, carrots, etc. Fruits recommended are Oranges, berries, apples, grapes, and grapefruit, peach and pear.

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